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Agrimarketing : June 2009
30 Best of NAMA-AGCO:32 Feature Story 6/12/09 12:46 PM Page 30 2009 NAMA’S BEST OF SHOW—ADVERTISING SPEAKINGTO,NOTAT,CUSTOMERS W by Rick Radermacher, Senior Vice President, BigelowAdvertising hen AGCObegan to actively market their RoGator brand of self-propelled sprayers to growers inmid-2008, they called upon an unlikely agronomical source to illustrate themachines’ superior benefits: those very pestswho annually torment the professional farmer. “We hadn’t done a lot of adver- tising in the grower publications,” says Chris Lund, Senior Marketing Communications Manager forAGCO’sApplication Equipment Division. “Wewanted to really stand outwithmessaging that spoke to the customer, not at him.” Lund challenged RoGator’s agency,Atlantabased Bigelow Advertising, to come up with “an ad” to announce RoGator’s availability to the growermarket. The agency came up with an entire integrated campaign, complete with four ads, two radio commercials and multiple animated online banner ads. “We got a lotmore thanwe expected,” Lund says. The story actually began in mid-2007whenAGCO finalized and implemented a new integrated dealer network that dramatically simplified both sales and service for anyone looking for a RoGator or TerraGator. Utilizing predominantly large CAT dealers, and putting in place the industry’smost extensivemobile service network,AGCO put RoGatorswithin easy reach of both retailers and growers. When the newnetworkwas fully operational inmid-2008, it opened the door to developing a dialogwith the professional grower in publications in their trademagazines. “We approach B-to-B advertising differently thanmany agencies and clients do,” says TomBigelow, the agency’s President and Executive Creative Director, and himself the 30 Agri Marketing s June 2009 owner of a 68-acre farmin upstate NewYork. “Rather than placing glorified spec sheets for ads,we like to speak to the customer on his terms, providing relevant information in a quick and appealingway.” “After all, an ad is a tremendous waste ofmoney if nobody is enticed to look at it,” he added. Lund reports. “They knewthat RoGatorswere all built commercialgrade to be durable and tough to handle the rigors of professional spraying. They just didn’t think they could afford one. Or find one.” One of the primary catalysts for the campaignwas a video of RoGator,Deere and Case IH sprayers being put through their paces on a grueling test track.AGCO had just posted the video on itsweb site, but wasn’t surewhat else to do with it. “The resultswere pretty eye-opening,” recalls Bigelow Account Executive Robyn Harris. “The brandsweren’t even close in things like flexibility, visibility, durability and traction.We’d hit the jackpot.” It then became the job of Bigelow’s creative teamto illustrate these machine attribute differences in away that clearly articulated a benefit to the customer. “Therewere somany clear-cut brand differences, we knewwe couldn’t tell the RoGator story in just one ad,” Harris added. So each of the major points of differencewere isolated and featured in its own ad. The agency knewit had to be a campaign, not a one-time ad stuffedwith a novel full of copy. DIGGING IN The agency,which had justwon the business a fewmonths earlier,went towork digging into the psyche of the grower audience. Growers, especially those in themarket for a firsttime sprayer purchase,were familiar with RoGator, but didn’t always think they could afford one of their own. “Growers told us that almost every time their ag retailer or co-op came to spray their fields, the guy had a RoGator (or TerraGator),” THE BUG BigelowCreativeDirector Sheila Rogers had been noodling around the idea of using bugs to illustrate the special features of the RoGator. But the first round of concepts used bugs thatwere,well, extremely cool-looking but not particularly relevant to a grower’s field and crops. So the agency account teamturned toMinnetonka,MN-basedAGCO agronomistNyleWollenhaupt.He was challenged to identify pests that illustrated themachine’s features, and were broadly known throughout NorthAmerica.No small task! “Itwas the craziest andmost
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